Thanks to daddy-to-be editor, Troy Siahaan, and his 2015 $100-$200 Holiday Gift Guide I managed to score the perfect Christmas gift for my three-year-old nephew, Braxton – the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay at Target for about $100. The BMW S1000RR by Ride-On at Wal-Mart may have been an even cooler toy, but at nearly double the price it surpassed the generosity my meager moto-journalist salary can afford. Besides, Braxton’s three and his understanding of what’s cool is derived from what I tell him is cool. I’m also hopeful the GS will be more durable than the double R when it comes to the type of playing a three-year-old boy meters out.
Surprising to me was the extent I was willing to go to acquire this toy. I’m no Grinch, but when it comes to Xmas shopping, I’m content with purchasing Amazon gift cards and having them electronically delivered to each recipient’s inbox. Merry Xmas, Love, Tom. Purchasing the 6V GS from Target’s website and having it delivered to grandma’s house for gift wrapping and prominent positioning under the tree should have required the same amount of keyboard effort as an Amazon gift card. Target, however, is no Amazon.
Troy’s Buyer’s Guide posted on November 30 – Cyber Monday – and unbeknown to me was the fact that Target’s servers were crippled under the consumer demand created by Target’s own advertising of Cyber Monday deals. Not long after receiving the email confirming my purchase of the GS, I received another informing me the Target store I had selected was out of inventory of the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay. Thus began a futile attempt of me trying to resolve the situation with Target’s wounded website.
After reaching my limit of online frustration, I steeled my resolve for purchasing the GS – because I love my nephew, and I was married to the cool uncle level of achievement I’d attain as a reward for such a gift – and drove to the nearest Target. Its inventory was also depleted of the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay. The customer service person kindly gave me a list of phone numbers for other Targets to call. I found the GS a couple towns over and around 8:30pm that night returned home with a box measuring 2’x2’x3’. Now, I was staring at the cost of either shipping the toy myself or paying an airline to treat it as extra luggage. The thought of returning it and purchasing the S1000RR by Ride-On at Wal-Mart crossed my mind.
The next day dawned with a revitalized Target website and a much shorter wait to reach a human being on the customer service hotline. The end result was Target’s willingness to locate the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay and deliver to grandma’s house in Ohio. All I had to do now was return the one I purchased in California to a nearby store, then wait ’til Xmas morning and my Year’s Coolest Uncle award.
As the only grandson in our immediate family, there was no shortage of gifts with Braxton’s name on them, but the 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay was by far the largest. Braxton went for it first. My brother, Todd, and sis-in-law, Rachel, didn’t know what to expect. Grandma helped Braxton with the unwrapping. As paper shards with Christmas print fell to floor Todd became more and more excited. With the picture of the box’s contents fully exposed Todd leapt to Braxton’s aid to help spring loose the motorcycle within – then, immediately set to the task of “some assembly required.”
Braxton, meanwhile, expressed overwhelming joy, for what seemed to him as his dad’s new toy, enthusiastically watching Todd begin the assembly process (a task made more difficult by me purposely removing the assembly instructions). The excitement for Braxton lasted until his attention was diverted by the next gift set in front of him. For my brother, it was the gift that kept giving throughout Christmas day.
For me, hopefully, sometime come Spring, after the cold and snow in Ohio disappears, when Braxton can tear up the driveway with his new 6V BMW R1200GS by RollPlay, he’ll come to understand what an awesome uncle he has. But Christmas isn’t about a child’s adoration for a gift given, it’s the simple pleasure derived from watching your brother suffer through hours of instructionless assembly. Merry Christmas, Todd!